I may be wrong but I sincerely have started believing that the every hillock in Maharashtra has something to offer on its top to amaze people like us. I have written about the Bhuleshwar Temple, but Kanifnath Temple is yet another example of this - a drive through the hilly roads of Bopdev Ghat, a serene location and great view of the valley. In addition to that, if you are a devotee there is a uniqueness in this temple which I think you mustn't miss.
How to go:
I stay in Kharadi so all routes starts from here. From Kharadi you need to go towards Swargate through NH9. One the Big Bazaar and the Fame multiplex appears on the left, you have to take the immediate second left (the Prince of Wales drive) of it, i.e take the left after the one next to Big Bazaar. Go staright for few kms, once you reach at a junction, you have to take a left towards Kondhwa road. Going starting from this junction will take to the way to Katraj Park, so better check with the local guys if you are confused. Through Kondhwa Road, again go straight - there is no need to turn at any junction. Ask the locals for Bopdev Ghat if you think if you can do good with a little help for direction. You should come to a junction where you can see the hills with one road going straight through the hills and there is another going in the left. At this junction there is big restaurant on your left ( I can not recollect the name and I could not take a snap either because it was heavily raining). But anyway you need to go straight. Once the ghat section is over, after going for a few more kms, you can see a big board for Kanifnath on your left. This is a short drive (around 35 Kms) but it took us around 1.5 hours due to rains and also we were not sure about the direction so we had to stop and ask the locals.
Here is the road map:
When you see the board on your left for the ‘Kanifnath Gad’ , the narrow and bad roads start here. The first section of the road is narrow and full of potholes but driveable while the last 500 meters are steep and was not fully tarred when we visited. Many people usually park before this road starts and cover the rest of the distance by foot. As it was raining to make it even worse, a couple of times I was screeching the tyres .
The first sight of the temple which also shows a glipse of the narrow road:
and a glimpse of the bad road....
There is a parking space above so there was no difficulty for us in parking. But when fully crowded during Shivaratri, it may not be the same.
There are stairs which lead straight to the temple. You have to leave your shoes before you enter the temple at your own risk, alternatively there is a shop which can keep it for you. And the shop also sells sweets to offer to the God.
The temple seemed to be relatively new, though there is not much to see at the top. It offers some great view though.
The uniqueness of the temple which I was referring to earlier is that only men can enter into the main shrine and they have to remove their shirts before entering!! If this is not enough, the entry to the shrine is not a door, it’s a hole!! You have to lie down and then crawl like a snake!!
Obviously I am no devotee to try that one. Even if I were one, I wouldn’t have tried the same.
When we were coming down the stairs we saw there are some sculptures of Lord Hanuman.
We came down and found that there was one smaller temple at the opposite side, facing the main temple.
Just before you enter into the parking there is a big gate marking the entrance. This place is like small flat plateau from where the views were really good watch.
When I carefully looked on the road through which we came (the last 500 meters as referred earlier), there are some sculptures too (at the centre of the below snap). But this one does not do justice with the steepness of the road though.
We came down and headed to Saswad towards our next stop – the Balaji Temple at Narayanpur. Ironically the weather cleared after 15-20 mins!
The road through Bopdev Ghat - not many snaps because of the rains: